I once saw this band described as the “most brutal Christian Hardcore band”. If that statement doesn’t raise a few suspicions, then nothing would! I know I shouldn’t be so uptight in my views, but let’s face it – there’s a lot to hate about this band: they have the Metalcore sound nailed and they are Christian. I just don’t see how a band can try to project their values and beliefs onto the world through a medium (so-called Hardcore…) that preaches individualism over conformism. But they try anyway…
On to the music – what we have here is essentially a compilation of the band’s debut album (“Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes”) and their side of the split EP release with AMERICAN TRAGEDY, ands some other tracks. I don’t really know this band that well, but judging from these tracks I have come to the conclusion that maybe it isn’t all as bad as I had expected. The track “Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes” is a great song that starts off slowly with a very ethereal melody line before plunging into the band’s patented “Christian Metal/Hardcore” sound… it still sounds a little funny, but they do a commendable job – I even hear some faint traces of CRYPTOPSY in here somewhere. The tracks “Behind Me Lies Another Fallen Soldier” isn’t too band either. Like I said earlier this band plays a Hardcore/Metal hybrid style, so there’s nothing on here you haven’t heard before – screams, breakdowns, Thrashy parts and the like. The drummer is the key element here, as his speedy flourishes and little fills add a nice touch of progressiveness and intensity.
Overall this isn’t essential listening unless you’re a big fan of this band and can’t get your hands on this material (the aforementioned debut and split EP are both long out of print). These guys can keep on doing their thing – for now I have heard enough Xtian Hardcore to last me a lifetime… :( (Online October 19, 2006)